A trade secret is defined as any valuable business information that is not generally known and is subject to reasonable efforts to preserve confidentiality. While virtually every business has at least some trade secrets, that protection is lost if the secret becomes publicly known. Remedies may be available to combat a release of trade secrets, or compensate a company for their loss, if the trade secrets were divulged by a person who obtained access to the secrets through improper means or who breached a promise to keep the information confidential.
How should you handle maintaining your trade secrets when seeking investment capital?
What is the proper mix of patent and trade secret protection for a core product?
Not all types of business information are suitable for patent, trademark, or copyright protection. Therefore, an organization should consider whether maintaining certain kinds of key information as trade secrets is beneficial. However, for the remedies against trade secret disclosure to be enforceable, the organization needs to take the proper steps to restrict access to the information only to necessary persons, as well as to place those who do have access to the trade secrets on notice of their legal obligations not to disclose them.
We can help you identify the proper mix of IP protection for your organization. We can also help with confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and – most importantly – with outlining effective processes for keeping and maintaining the enforceability of your trade secrets.
The advent of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) now provides a federal remedy for trade secret protection in addition to state remedies. However, the DTSA has several differences from state laws, including new whistleblower immunity and notice requirements. Talk with us about updating your current employment and confidentiality agreements for compliance with the DTSA.